#6: W1AW/6 – United States of America

This was an IARU contest QSO – and having the ARRL QSL card in my DXCC collection seems apropos. It was a local contest station – so the best part of this QSO ends up being the W1AW QSL card as far as anything “interesting” goes. However, many of the operators on the card are fine people I’ve had the privilege of meeting – especially Tom, N6BT and Dean, N6BV who both acted as my mentors antenna wise – and who got me over a hump in December 2011 – when I needed 7 more for Honor Roll and had missed several ATNO’s in that year. With their tutelage, and specifically Dean’s HFTA – I worked the 7 that I needed in 2012 and made Honor Roll the 2012 side of midnight. That meant that I had made DXCC Honor Roll from this QTH down in a bowl in one solar cycle – and along with DXCC on Top Band will be my greatest operating achievements that I will make as far as DXCC goes. Top of Honor Roll is just “more of the same” as far as I am concerned.

Dean, N6BV in a mock ceremony presenting KY6R with his Honor Roll Plaque – notice the “Team HFTA” caps I had embroidered for the event!

The DXCC program is by the American Radio Relay League, and W1AW is their station I’m pretty sure I worked N6RO’s station for W1AW/6 – which is about 20 miles away. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Clinton DeSoto and the ARRL for this wonderful DXCC program.

NA ITU Zone: 06-08 CQ Zone: 03-05

Added to the DXCC List: on the original 1937 list. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States


Rareness Factor: “Garden Variety with a political climate of “Shits Creek”. However, on the low bands – especially 160M, the QSO is very much appreciated since anything on Top Band from the West Coast seems rare – hi hi

Current Clublog Most Wanted (as of this writing): #340 – the least rare entity on the list

DXpeditions: Besides some of the IOTA islands, there has never been a need for a DXpedition to the USA.

Merit Badges

Garden Variety

Shit Creek Survivor


The US has gone through its ups and downs – but I have always believed in her. The country is a country of immigrants (besides Native American Indians – who were here long before the first European settlers and many other groups who have immigrated here). I work in an incredibly diverse workforce in the SF Bay Area, and I know for a fact that in diversity there is strength. We have a mix of people literally from all over the world who settled here. As a ham who was interested in geography and people from around the world- and as a DXer – DXing would be nothing without its cultural, social and geographic diversity. I like living in a place with such diversity (like the DX portion of the ham bands) – and it feels like the living definition of being American.

My Father immigrated from Germany, worked on the rocket engine of the Surveyor (that collected samples from the moon before the first moon landing). He also worked on the Space Shuttle. My Mother was from England and immigrated and started her own dance school business. Steve Jobs father was from Syria, Sergei Brin from Russia, Elon Musk, South Africa, and the list can go on forever. The American Dream does exist – no matter what someone else tells you.

With Ham Radio Gear, we have these legendary companies:

  1. Collins
  2. Heathkit
  3. Elecraft
  4. Flex
  5. SteppIR
  6. Force-12
  7. Ten Tec
  8. E.F Johnson
  9. Hallicrafters
  10. Hammarlund

and many, many others. I worked for Oracle, an extremely successful International company who started here in the SF Bay Area – and where there are so many such success stories. I was the 127th employee there – so I know what it feels like to work for a world leader that started in the US.

DXCC Entity “Vital Stats”

The QSO was made during morning on the West Coast and on ground wave (the station was about 20 miles away) – and the solar conditions were:

Cycle23 Start 1996-08 Number 11.2 Peak 2001-11 Number 180.3 Years to Rise 5.3 Years to Fall 7 Cycle Length 12.3

Important DXCC Resources

  1. ARRL DXCC Standings – http://www.arrl.org/dxcc-standings
  2. LOTW – https://lotw.arrl.org/cgi-bin/lotw_page_auth/default
  3. Clublog – https://clublog.org/index.php
  4. The History of the DXCC by (me) – History of the DXCC

BTW – I think the best DXCC List is either found at Clublog or in LOTW. The ARRL DXCC Desk and other parts of its web site regarding DXCC almost look abandoned. Luckily, LOTW and their standings lists look well kept, supported and looked after.

Parting Shots

Lately I have been feeling like the US (politically) is up Shits Creek without a paddle – until I remember the PEOPLE in this country are (for the most part) great – and will be the final arbiters of what the government becomes. I still believe in this wacky experiment in Democracy.

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